Starting in 1997, Elizabeth Bartholet a law professor at Harvard Law School, researched and wrote Nobody's Children: Abuse and Neglect, Foster Drift, and the Adoption Alternative.
The book analyzed both the current strategies for protecting abused or neglected children and the shortcomings in prevailing foster care and adoption policies.
As part of the research, the principal investigator reviewed the legal, medical, and social science literature; conducted interviews with key players in child welfare; and participated in conferences and workshops on child welfare policy. Nobody's Children: Abuse and Neglect, Foster Drift, and the Adoption Alternative was published by Beacon Press in 1999. Nearly 4,000 copies had been sold as of March 2001.